Catherine Erdly, Retail Business Consultant shares her top tips on building and nurturing a community before turning them into paying customers.
Retailers that are succeeding in 2019 are doing so because they are building communities. If you look at the most popular names in the markets they have a narrative and a fan base that exceeds a business customer relationship.
They are not just focusing on getting new customers, they are connecting groups of people who share their ideals and values. A customer will visit once and purchase items and not think much, whereas a community will be involved in your brand and business, creating a valuable back and forth that helps you learn what to give your community, what they want and how you can grow together.
The value of a strong community is indispensable, and here are some ways in which you can build your client base into one:
Based off your target demographic, find out more about tangents of this demographic, if your ideal client is a single woman between 20-30, find out more specific things about what your items can offer them and common interests.
Where target demographics are better very detailed and accurate, a community can be more vague and a place where different types of people can come together over similar values.
Once you are aware of the ‘who’ aspect, you can begin to look for members to join your community. Find out where the current members are and look in similar places for other individuals who could fall into your target category.
More than just a business, you now need to engage with your community. Join in their conversations, reply to their comments, display that you are interested with what they have to say and are actually listening to it.
Engaging with your audience on a human to human level is the difference between a customer relationship and a community.
You cannot have a community where there is only advertisements for your products. The focus of your dialogue should revolve around engagement , serving them, not selling to them.
Your goal is not to get them to buy things through these channels but to engage them and drive interest and dialogue, providing a platform for discourse about relevant, and even sometimes irrelevant, topics.
Connecting with them on their terms will only help build that community and create loyal customers who come back again and again
Want to know more about how to cut through the overwhelm, get clear on your strategy and take your product business where you want it to go? Join Catherine’s FB group Female Founders In Retail to get encouragement and support, as well as weekly tips
Catherine is the founder of Future Retail Consulting and is on a mission to help people create the life they want by growing successful product-based businesses. She helps them make money by developing a clear strategy focused on their product offering, their pricing, and their sales channels.
Catherine brings nearly twenty years of industry expertise and an inspiring passion for product businesses.